Surrender, Ann Friedman!

Apr 3 2014 @ 10:14am

Diving - 15th FINA World Championships: Day Eight

A pundit rarely gets vindication quite as quickly as this. When Olympic star Tom Daley recently told the world he was bisexual, Ann Friedman declared that he was an icon for a newly and increasingly fluid male sexuality:

Daley also elicited a more specific sort of disapproval from certain fans — biphobia, the Advocate called it. These were the people who assumed Daley was gay but unable to fully admit it, or unwilling to relinquish the privileges of being straight … Traditional definitions of masculinity — which tend to go hand in hand with homophobia — are going through a real shake-up. More hetero men are tentatively admitting that they’re turned on by certain sex acts associated with gay men. And Daley’s ambiguous coming-out had some mainstream sports sites sounding like a Gender Studies 101 classroom. “In truth, there should be no need for him to declare his sexuality,” wrote a blogger at BleacherReport. This is progress.

I don’t doubt that male bisexuality is real, if rare. But I wasn’t buying it in the case of Daley:

Let me place a bet with Friedman: Daley will never have a sexual relationship with a woman again, because his assertion that he still fancies girls is a classic bridging mechanism to ease the transition to his real sexual identity. I know this because I did it too.

Maybe we’ll check back in in a few years’ time, and see which one of us has turned out to be right.

Friedman mocked this as impossibly vague (and she had a point) so I revised, even as I was raked over the coals by readers:

Let me rephrase my bet with Friedman. Check in in ten years’ time.

Five months later, ta-da! Tom Daley confirms he is totally gay. As I predicted. As I – and any gay man not saturated with pomo nonsense – knew. Again: this doesn’t mean that there aren’t bisexual men out there. But it does mean there’s gaydar. And Ann Friedman ain’t got none.

(Photo: Tom Daley by Clive Rose/Getty Images)